Engineering Our Sustainable Future

Vermont is Waiting For You

Spend a semester studying lecture-free, project-based sustainable engineering at the Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability in Montpelier, Vermont.

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Have you considered studying away during college? Are you interested in sustainable engineering, technology, and building a more equitable future? Do you learn best through hands on projects that let you apply what you are learning to real world problems?  Are you motivated by learning that prepares you to make the world a better place?

Spend a semester studying sustainable engineering at the Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability (GCES) in Montpelier, Vermont. At GCES, students acquire valuable engineering skills through real-world, hands-on projects. These projects are carefully chosen to support learning while giving student engineers the opportunity to apply their learning to the work of designing and building a sustainable future. This unique Elizabethtown College program is supported by Greenway, and operates as an “innovation center” for the engineering program at Elizabethtown College.

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Experience the power of team-based learning and strong mentoring as you tackle engineering challenges
Learn engineering by doing engineering in our hands-on, project-based program
Learn in a mission-driven setting, focused on equity and sustainability

Frequently Asked Questions

What is GCES?

The Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability is an innovation campus of Elizabethtown College in Montpelier, VT. This unique program re-imagines engineering education by centering equity and sustainability, using an integrated package of best educational practices in a way that existing institutions, constrained by their incumbent structures, have been unable to do. GCES provides a supportive community and relevant, participative, hands-on, mastery-assessed instruction that gives every student the opportunity to develop the confidence, competence and connections they need to thrive in engineering.

What makes Vermont a great place to study away?

Vermont is a small, beautiful state with a rapidly emerging green energy sector. As a student here, you get to appreciate our beautiful landscape, from our rolling mountains to our abundant lakes and rivers. Our historic close connections to agriculture and tourism make us uniquely sensitive to issues of sustainability and resilience, as well as the impact of engineering and human activity on the health of our communities and the environment. Our center is nestled in our tiny state capitol, giving you access to unique opportunities to observe up close how policy is designed, and how policy shapes sustainability and equity of opportunity. Many of our state’s businesses were early leaders in adopting business models with a demonstrated commitment to social and environmental performance and benefit, which gives our students a unique opportunity to explore business government models that align with their commitments to equity and sustainability for their communities. Come learn, play, live and imagine a sustainable future with us!

How are GCES and Elizabethtown College connected?

GCES is opening in partnership with Elizabethtown College in Montpelier, Vermont. Courses at GCES are aligned with Elizabethtown offerings such that engineering students who complete coursework at GCES receive credits for those courses from Elizabethtown. Greenway will work with students to determine the best courses to seamlessly transition to a semester away at GCES, then back, while pursuing their major.

What courses are available at GCES?

Course schedules at GCES have some flexibility to meet different students’ needs. In general, available courses align with Elizabethtown College’s sophomore engineering program requirements (e.g. Statics, Circuits, Physics II, Calculus II, Science & Values, Computer Science) All courses are organized around robust hands-on projects that enable students to apply the concepts they are learning to real world and community applications. Potential courses include:

  • EGR 201: Community Based Project
  • EGR 355: Sustainable Resource Engineering and Design
  • EGR 360: Dynamics
  • EGR 368: Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology
  • EGR 395: Industry Speakers and Special Topics
  • EGR 467: Thermodynamics
  • MA 222: Calculus III
  • PH 265:Science and Values

How does financial aid work at GCES?

For Etown students, your financial aid applies exactly as if you were studying in Pennsylvania. Please note those with Veterans Benefits need to consult with their representative about any impact of location change.

When are applications due?

We accept applications on a rolling basis and follow the Etown College calendar.

What does the application timeline/process look like for GCES?

The application is submitted on this webpage. We will contact you for a follow-up conversation within two weeks. Once accepted, you register for courses via the Etown registrar.

What is the GCES housing and meal plan?

Students stay in a dormitory building in Montpelier Vermont with other GCES students. Unless requested, students will have their own rooms. Food services are provided for students on a similar schedule to the dining facilities at the main Etown campus.

How many students are in the program?

The first year semester away program is a pilot program targeting a class size of 5 to 15 students. The first group of students will help shape the program for future students while participating in a supportive and well-staffed learning environment.

Will I stay on track for a 4-year graduation (at Etown)?

You will take the same courses as engineering students at the main Etown campus. For Etown students, if you successfully complete your courses at GCES, you will be on track to graduate as if you had studied on the main campus. For visiting students, you will receive credits for the coursework at Etown College; please contact us and your home institution for specific questions on transfer credits.

Do I need a car at GCES?

A car is not needed, but you are welcome to bring one and explore Vermont outside of Montpelier. GCES is within ½ mile walking distance to downtown Montpelier. Montpelier is a small city (rated #2 on the Best 10 small towns in the Northeastern USA in US Today) with walkable downtown, numerous restaurants, and other activities.

Does GCES provide student services such as counseling, tutoring, and academic accommodations?

We will work with students to make sure that student services are provided as needed on a one-to-one basis. We are supported by both local services and Etown College’s main campus programs.

What if I’m a student who is not currently studying at Etown?

Upon acceptance, you will be enrolled as a visiting student at Etown. For visiting students, you will receive credits for the coursework at Etown College; please contact us and your home institution for specific questions on transfer credits.

What if I have more questions?

We aim to make a semester at GCES accessible to all qualified students and are happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to reach out to or (802) 359-7404.

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Elizabethtown is seeking approval to open GCES, a satellite center in Vermont, with the support of the Greenway Institute. Once approved, the GCES semester away will be an extension of Elizabethtown College’s Engineering program. The Engineering major at Elizabethtown College is a rigorous, ABET-accredited program designed to lead students to a technical career in the workforce or to a graduate school to study engineering. We strongly believe in producing well-rounded generalist engineers who understand the mechanical and electrical systems of a design and how those systems interact with the environment and with industry. We challenge our students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills, pushing them to become innovators of the future. Our students receive personal attention from our faculty members and gain hands-on experience in design and fabrication.

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Meet Founding Faculty Dr. Koh

Rachel KohDr. Koh joined GCES in 2023 as a founding faculty member, and is leading the development, piloting, and teaching of project-based engineering modules and programs. Koh came to GCES from Smith College, where their research focused on Sustainable Materials. They state, “My work is dedicated to the development of sustainable materials derived from an abundant, renewable, and low-cost source: plants.” Koh’s graduate work on wind turbine materials and design was part of an interdisciplinary program that examined the engineering, environmental, wildlife, and political aspects of wind energy development at University of Massachusetts Amherst. In their dissertation, they used a combined experimental and computational approach to describe best practices for modeling laminated wood and flax, with the goal of expanding the use of renewable materials in the composites industry. Koh is fascinated by the ways social and political factors drive technologies. In their teaching, they strive to illuminate those connections where they see them, and encourage students to seek connections between what they are learning in the engineering classroom and what they know from elsewhere.